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My curiousity about Etsy has been growing for a while. My original thoughts of it were that it is similar to eBay, except that instead of resale of old items, it is more like an online flea market, focused on homemade, and individual artists selling their goods.

I was on the right track, but I never realized how fantastic it truly is, and the array of product categories offered, until I finally took the plunge and let it suck hours and hours out of my day.

My first shopping experience was in the search for a turquoise necklace. I browsed through what seemed like a million different necklaces, and finally narrowed it down to a few.

This was my final choice, from the jewelry1016 shop.

I liked that the beads were flat and the heart shape added some unique girliness. The seller was wonderful and answered all of my questions. The only con was that it took 2 weeks to arrive and I was getting very anxious. But it was worth it because it is a a great statement piece that can still be casual and spice up some otherwise dull work outfits.

Based on this experience, here are the top 5 reasons why I think Etsy is amazing:

  1. It allows the world to support individual, talented, creative entrepreneurs. These sellers are from all over the world. You no longer have to go to your local flea market to be able to purchase interesting homemade items. I was searching for a turquoise necklace on eBay as well, and I loved the idea of buying a unique, quality item that someone created for $18 instead of an unknown quality item, shipped from Hong Kong for $3.
  2. The items are creative and unique. You won’t find them at Walmart or Nordstrom. It’s great for jewelry, home decor, furniture, housewares, clothing, handbags, hair accessories, bath & beauty, and greeting cards.
  3. It’s full of inspiration. I especially love seeing how bloggers have displayed using Etsy for planning weddings (party favors, decoration, invitations) or home decoration (prints, frames, wire sculptures). It also provides a venue for the sale of vintage collectors items, like toys, clothing, jewelry. Browsing around can really get your creative juices flowing, in my case it’s great for my hunt to decorate our new home.
  4. Ease of use. It’s organized really well, allowing for easy browsing, by category, by price, by location. You can save favorite items, favorite sellers, and pay safely through PayPal. For ease in browsing, it provides seller suggestions based on past favorites or purchases, and gives you many creative ways to browse through other listings.
  5. Seller feedback and reviews. I was nervous making my first purchase, but my concerns were laid to rest with the feedback system and ability to read everything any buyer had written. With Ebay you can only see the last few comments, but with Etsy you can see all of them. It also gives you more room to comment about the product, and shows a picture of what was bought. It helps visualize and compare other products to the one you are purchasing from a seller, and read what others had to say about it.

I will definitely be buying from Etsy again. I have already found some pieces that are possible candidates for prints to hang on the bare wall in our kitchen/dining room.

Have you ever purchased or sold on Etsy? What kind of items? What was your experience like?